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Questions tagged [spacecraft]

Questions regarding the craft that house humans or equipment during space exploration.

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1answer
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Largest inhabitable volume in space

When you look at space ships, capsules and stations, one thing that is lacking in space is… space. As in: pressurized volume a human can freely move in. Most are tiny tin cans. So I was wondering, ...
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2answers
1k views

How much gravity is actually needed to avoid serious health consequences?

Most discussion I have read about using tethers and rotation in order to simulate gravity on spacecraft, talk about simulating Earth's gravity - 1g or 9.8m/s^2. Baked into the 1g figure is the ...
4
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2answers
528 views

Why do some spacecraft have heat radiators? Why not repurpose the energy?

I would have thought that you would want to conserve as much energy as possible - or is energy/electricity not a problem?
15
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1answer
676 views

Will Juno record its deorbit?

I'm really interested about the Juno mission launched in 2011. The spacecraft will reach Jupiter on July 4, 2016, in couple days from when I write this question. It will orbit Jupiter 37 times ...
0
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1answer
385 views

Faster than Light in our lifetime? [duplicate]

I'm wondering, how likely is it that we see Faster Than Light ships in our life-time, Nasa is currently working (more like figuring the basics out) of the ...
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0answers
34 views

Most far away location reached thus far [duplicate]

So far, what is the furthest space exploration machines have been able to reach in the universe? Thanks.
1
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1answer
102 views

Where are the SAFFIRE-I results?

There was a bit of fanfare for the SAFFIRE-I experiment. I got excited... http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/1761.html So they set fire to a Cygnus module before de-orbit....
3
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2answers
445 views

Star Tracker And Absolute Attitude

How is a "Star Tracker" mounted on a spacecraft able to compute "absolute attitude"?
11
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1answer
646 views

Spacecraft Maneuvers as Intellectual Property? Wow!

I had encountered a few mentions of orbits being patented (or at least applications filed) but didn't take much notice. Then I did a simple search and was blown away by the sheer volume of activity - ...
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2answers
1k views

Do we have any idea when Tiangong-1 will deorbit?

In March 2016 China's Manned Space Engineering Office announced that all Tiangong-1 telemetry had failed leaving no ability to safely control the space station's decent. With what we know about the ...
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0answers
105 views

How to compute angular velocity of fluid ring for passive control?

Excuse me, friends. In paper , for passive control with eq.4, how to compute beta? beta is angular velocity of fluid in fluid. the satellite has initial angular velocity, but with filled fluid ring we ...
13
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2answers
8k views

Is the overall mortality rate for being in a spacecraft in space or bound for space about 4%?

I just read this answer in astronomy.stackexchange, where a sobering point was made that the overall to-date chance of losing ones life in a spacecraft is about 4%. While I don't want to dwell on ...
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2answers
218 views

Local expansion measured, near zero via Lunar Ranging - what about deep space probes?

All of the discussion around this question and in the comments below this answer, about the local effects of "the expansion of space" (Metric expansion of space) or Cosmological redshift or just ...
0
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1answer
737 views

What is the density of Hydrogenated Boron Nitride Nanotubes (H-BNNT)?

And I also wanted to ask if I constructed a wall made out of it, with GCRs and SEPs and Neutron radiation (basically every radiation in space) from the other side, how many kgs per m^2 of H-BNNT would ...
4
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1answer
469 views

Could fueled boosters be launched separately from the primary payload?

Is there any existing technology for attaching fueled boosters to a spacecraft? (not for a space station) Space assets (e.g. module, spacecraft or satellite orbiter) could be boosted to place in ...
3
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2answers
110 views

Lessons Learned - What can space power system design teach Antarctic remote sensing systems

I know that a lot of brilliant engineering has gone into developing the space technology that we have. So, what engineering lessons about dealing with extreme cold and portable power sources do you ...
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5answers
1k views

Is a spherical rocket design a plausible replacement for current designs today?

In Germany, there is a very well known sci-fi novel series in which some of the spaceships are spheres with a toroidal bulge around the equator in which the (downward pointing) engines are situated. ...
6
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1answer
228 views

How far from earth have atomic clocks (or ultra-stable oscillators) been placed and monitored?

The various flavors of GPS satellite constellations use atomic clocks on each satellite. As far as I know, all of the constellations are "shells" of circular MEO orbits in 3 to 6 planes, 20,000 to 25,...
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2answers
247 views

Would astronauts need a heat shield to land on Titan from orbital speeds?

At orbital speeds around the Earth, things tend to burn up on striking the atmosphere, since they're going so fast. To get an astronaut (for example) home safely from those speeds, they need to have ...
39
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3answers
9k views

Why was Venus rather than Mars targeted for the first interplanetary landings?

This is a question about early planetary missions. It looks like there was only one early (unsuccessful) landing mission to Mars and that subsequently Venus became the target for interplanetary ...
3
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1answer
332 views

What is the disk on NASA's anti-matter concept design?

On the concept art pictured in this link, we see a very sleek looking ship that would supposedly be powered by antimatter. What is the large disk present on the side of what appears to be the second ...
3
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4answers
578 views

What is the closest to a perpetual motion machine that could be made to work in space?

In the movie "Alien" by Ridley Scott, there's a Drinking Bird which, presumably, the crew activated when entering stasis, and which is still going after they emerge. However anyone who has had one of ...
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0answers
70 views

Are there any locked Airlocks in space? [duplicate]

An air lock in a space craft is a door used to move between the sealed environment of a space craft to the vacuum of space (or other craft) with minimal impact to the sealed environment. I always ...
4
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1answer
321 views

Earth-based microwave radiometer for the Moon

Microwave radiometers (MWR) can be used passively, to get regolith's thickness, brightness temperature and dielectric constant. Apart from that, I have little idea of how the instrumentation's ...
5
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1answer
368 views

How would a manned Mars Lander be tested

This question just occured to me while I was setting up my first manned (err, kerbalized?) Duna mission in KSP: In order to test my basic lander design I did not want to start a whole Duna Mission but ...
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0answers
145 views

What is the maximum velocity for feathered reentry systems?

I gather that the Virgin Galactic planes use feathered reentry systems with a maximum velocity of about 1.4 Mach, or about .5 km/s. I understand this won't work from full orbital speed, 7km/s, because ...
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3answers
2k views

Multiple aerobraking

I have spent a lot of hours with Kerbal Space Program recently and I am curious about one thing. I got into orbit around the Moon and then I was able to get back to an orbit of "Kerbin" (the home ...
7
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2answers
731 views

Are the Earth's 10 Lagrange points stable and large enough to park multiple satelites/space vessels

I know that we already have satellites in position at our Lagrange points, but what if we want to use them to park spacecraft sections for assembly reasons, or possibly even a meteorite for mining. ...
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9answers
7k views

Can you really use Arduino for a small spacecraft?

A group of Russian geeks intends to shoot a small vehicle to the moon, which is supposed to photograph the places of the Apollo landings. This will be the ultimate proof that people actually visited ...
0
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1answer
80 views

what exactly from our ecological system is monitored by satellites?

I know there are some satellites in space that monitor specific things in order for us to be able to forecast the weather. Next to this I would like to know what other elements (mostly related to ...
2
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1answer
588 views

could rockets stay in orbit forever? [duplicate]

when rockets are put in orbit, could they stay in orbit forever? if there was no one to man it, and it was not programmed to come back down, what would happen? would it stay up there, or would earth's ...
8
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1answer
605 views

Why are the nose cones of current spacecraft less pointy?

You would think that with the quest for aerodynamic efficiency in current spacecraft that the nose-cones at the pointy end of the launch-vehicle would have a sharp taper, more so for craft that aren't ...
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4answers
6k views

What is the optimum shape for a spacecraft?

I understand that these days a spacecraft design is very much centred on what can be lifted into space by current rockets, hence the modular, cylindrical shape of the ISS. So, with current ...
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0answers
233 views

What is the total mass of everything launched that are still in space?

Inspired by this question, total mass ever launched to orbit (this is a different question, as many of the things launched have decayed by now.) How much of it is still up there? Out of that again, ...
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0answers
62 views

Does releasing a gas propellant in a vacuum produce thrust? [Martian Spoilers] [duplicate]

I recently watched, The Martian and was wondering about some of the manoeuvres and propulsion in space. My question is, how is this possible? How can escaping an escaping gas (from a pressurised ...
0
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1answer
484 views

Is there a comprehensive list of all space probes ever launched?

I'm working on a project and I was wondering if there is a comprehensive archive or a database available out there of all of the spacecrafts and human made probes that were ever launched into space (...
3
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1answer
178 views

How common is resin/epoxy sealing of space-faring equipment nowadays?

In the olden days most of space-faring electronics would be embedded in resin. Hey, that's where the term "embedded software" comes from! That came with a number of advantages like pressure-proofing ...
2
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1answer
151 views

When is the PTK NP spacecraft likely to be launched?

The PTK NP spacecraft seems to be the future successor of the Soyuz spacecraft. Does anyone know when the first launch will likely be? The estimates I have seen vary a lot, so what will be realistic?
3
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1answer
223 views

Interplanetary space debris

How would a spaceship traveling through interplanetary space, let's say to Mars, avoid all the space debris or there isn't any interplanetary space debris at all, is it only orbital debris around the ...
8
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1answer
710 views

When is a phased array antenna not a phased array?

This question is inspired by an answer to this question, where it is stated that: The real power of phased arrays is their ability to be steered electronically. This set me wondering about the ...
6
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2answers
683 views

How are phased array antennas used in spaceflight? Benefits and limitations

It would seem to me that a phased array antenna would be great for spacecrafts since it removes the need to turn the entire spacecraft around in order to point the radio dish towards Earth. Many ...
2
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1answer
1k views

How does a spacecraft know its orientation in orbit?

How does a spacecraft know its orientation while in orbit? For example, turning from prograde to retrograde when starting a descent? I am wondering if there is any way to sense this without using an ...
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0answers
102 views

What to study in interstellar space? [closed]

Are there advantages to observing the universe from interstellar space? What kind of scientific experiments would be useful for a spacecraft outside of the Solar System's Oort cloud?
2
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2answers
166 views

Libration points - Science prospects

There have been quite a few missions to libration points. As far as the dynamical possibilities are concerned, libration point vicinity offers a spectrum of orbit profiles. What science data is not ...
5
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1answer
1k views

Re-entry Dynamics

I've been reading around a lot and I haven't been able to find any clear explanations. Maybe I'm a bit confused or maybe I am just looking in the wrong places. My question is, what are some basic ...
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4answers
2k views

What is the hardest part of making spacecraft (mostly) reusable?

Why aren't more parts of spacecraft commonly reusable? As I'm looking at the Soyuz plans, the three parts don't seem all that different in terms of survivalibility. The orbital module resembles ...
20
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4answers
1k views

Gliding into the atmosphere

The recent question about Cessna reentering from ISS got the answers that all imply a rapid drop. But from what I know, air drag is proportional: to square of airspeed to air density to attack ...
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3answers
2k views

What is the closest flyby to date?

Cassini is to fly within 50 km of Enceladus. What is the closest flyby a spacecraft has ever made? What object was targeted and when was it? Is 50 km a new record? (For the purposes of this question,...
3
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1answer
256 views

Water ice for spacecraft's external shell material

What are the fundamental drawbacks to using water ice as an external shell for manned spacecraft?
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1answer
689 views

Suitability of Hydrogenated Boron Nitride Nanotubes for structural and shielding elements of spacecraft

I'm writing a novel set 100+ years in the future. I'm looking into future materials from which spacecraft may be built. I read an article about Hydrogenated Boron Nitride Nanotubes. I'm interested in ...